OTE leads stampeding bulls toward 3,000 pts

Buying interest resurged at the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday on the back of OTE Telecom, whose share shot up 6.85 percent after the employment pact announced with unions on Wednesday, and the announcement of first-quarter results above market expectations. OTE’s traded shares totaled 47.4 million euros in value, accounting for about 20 percent of total turnover. Investors also seemed to price in expected government initiatives on the privatization front. The general index climbed 2.11 percent to 2,983.47 points. State-controlled banks Agricultural and Emporiki outperformed with hefty gains of 8.93 and 4.60 percent respectively after the government said it was preparing legislation to solve the problem of their considerable unfunded pension liabilities. Among blue chips, only Coca-Cola HBC ended lower, dropping 0.46 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index advanced 2.42 percent, mid-caps added 1.33 percent and small-caps gained 1.08 percent. All sectoral indices ended higher. Winners outnumbered decliners 193 to 70, while 78 share prices remained unchanged on 341 traded. Turnover climbed 80 percent to 256 million euros, of which 127.1 million was accounted for by the four securities with the largest turnover: OTE, OPAP, National Bank and Public Power Corporation.